LA CROSSE, Wis. – Boater Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355.
“I started by running down and fishing the north end of Pool No. 9, and ended up catching a 15½-pound limit,” said Laufenberg, who earned his fourth career win as a boater in FLW competition – second on the Mississippi River. “I had a little point with some current on it where largemouth were staging and getting ready to spawn. I caught a couple of good ones on a 1/8-ounce weedless Ned rig, and another two, including my heaviest of the day, on a jig.”
Laufenberg said he used a green-pumpkin and purple-colored Z-Man Big TRD on his Ned rig, and a 3/8-ounce, Alabama Craw-colored Matt Herren Dirty Jigs flipping jig with a green-pumpkin Big Bite Baits College Craw trailer.
Laufenberg then said he then ran up to Pool No. 8 to catch some spawning fish, but couldn’t get anything going. Still looking to upgrade, he said he went with a backup plan.
“I worked on the south end of Pool No. 8 and caught a 3½-pound spawning smallmouth on a regular 1/16-ounce Ned rig (green-pumpkin) Finesse TRD,” said Laufenberg. “With 15 minutes to go, I caught another in a spawning bay near takeoff on the north end using the Ned rig, and that was my winning fish.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Cade Laufenberg, Goodview, Minn., five bass, 16-7, $4,355
2nd: Mike Gabel, Saint Charles, Ill., five bass, 16-6, $2,178
3rd: Brad Wessling, Elkhorn, Wis., five bass, 15-13, $1,383
4th: Jared Mataczynski, Wausau, Wis., five bass, 15-12, $970
5th: Kevin Ruh, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 15-5, $831
6th: Tim Brogan, Arpin, Wis., five bass, 15-4, $762
7th: Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 15-2, $693
8th: A.J. Menssen, Bloomington, Ill., five bass, 15-1, $623
9th: Steven Johnson, Lake Villa, Ill., five bass, 14-12, $554
10th: Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 14-8, $460
10th: Nick Trim, Galesville, Wis., five bass, 14-8, $710
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mark Balbinot of Canton, Illinois, caught a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $570.
Josh Mohn of Lansing, Iowa, won the Co-angler Division and $2,078 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Josh Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, five bass, 15-12, $2,078
2nd: Mike Cottrell, Hartland, Wis., five bass, 14-3, $1,039
3rd: Colby Wolff, Shawano, Wis., five bass, 13-8, $691
4th: Robert Shufelt, Clintonville, Wis., five bass, 13-6, $427
4th: Mark Persson, Otsego, Minn., five bass, 13-6, $527
4th: Mongshoua Xiong, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-6, $427
7th: Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., five bass, 13-5, $396
8th: Brad Ballard, Winona, Minn., five bass, 13-3, $312
9th: Nicholas Oates, Union, Ill., five bass, 12-15, $259
9th: Rene Luis, Chicago, Ill., five bass, 12-15, $259
Zuteus Sevenants of Holmen, Wisconsin, and Joe Rockey of Schaumburg, Illinois, both caught bass weighing in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce – the largest of the day in the Co-angler Division – and split the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $142.
The tournament was hosted by the La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Buchanan, Tennessee, presented by Evinrude. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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